(Photo courtesy of Brooke's Point mayor Jean Feliciano/ File photo)

The municipality of Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan will receive 50 units of electric tricycles or “e-trikes” from the Department of Energy (DOE) in February as one of the pilot recipients of its “Urban Green City” (UGC) project.

Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano said Thursday it was the provincial government that selected their town to receive the P22-million e-trikes project.

Feliciano said the town was chosen as a pilot area because of its strong environmental advocacy.

“Alam mo naman ‘yong laban namin [para] sa environment. Kaya siguro kami pinili kasi nakita naman ni Governor [Jose Alvarez] ang ating stand talaga na proteksyunan ang kalikasan. Sa mga kababayan [ko] sana i-patronize nila. ‘Yong pagsakay nila dito tumutulong na agad sila sa kalikasan. Walang polusyon [at] hindi na natin kailangang mag-angkat pa ng mas maraming gasolina,” Feliciano pointed out.

(You know our fight regarding the environment. Governor Jose Alvarez saw our stand when it comes to the environment so it’s probably why we were chosen. I hope our residents will patronize this. Riding them is already helping the environment. It has no pollution and we do not need to use fuel.)

She added that the DOE, the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), and a non-profit group were the ones that declared Palawan as a “model UGC”.

The major aim of the UGC is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to help preserve the environment.

“Ang Urban Green City ay maraming mga requirements. Isa doon ay ‘yong bayan — karamihan [dapat] sa pinanggagalingan ng kanyang power ay renewable. So slowly nga ay tina-try na naming sumunod doon sa [kung] ano ba talaga ‘yong isang Urban Green City. Merong pakinabang when you protect the environment, maraming biyaya from the Creator. Sabi ko [nga] from God Himself — when we protect our environment pinapakita natin that we appreciate what God has created for us,” she said.

(The Urban Green City has a lot of requirements. One of them is the town — most of the power sources should be renewable. So, slowly we are trying to follow what an Urban Green City is. There is a lot of benefits when you protect the environment, there is a lot of blessings from the Creator. As I’ve said from God Himself — when we protect our environment, we are also showing that we appreciate what God created for us.)

She said that unlike the regular tricycles, these Japanese-made e-trikes emit no smoke that can harm the nature.

Each e-trike costs P455,000 and can accommodate up to nine people including its driver. Charging the unit for one complete hour will make the vehicle run for about eight hours.

“Iyong mga may elevated [na kalsada], kaya naman niya. Huwag lang ‘yong mga daan na sobrang taas at lubak-lubak (It can travel on elevated roads. But, of course, not on roads that are really too high and rugged)” she said.

The municipal government will conduct a seminar on the proper use of e-trikes.

Feliciano said they are now looking for beneficiaries on a “rent-to-own basis.”

“Priority namin ‘yong mga nakiki-boundary lang, ‘yong mga walang sariling tricycle. Puwede nilang rentahan hanggang sa kanila na ‘yan or kung ayaw naman nila, mag-boundary nalang sila kasi gusto naming maibalik ang pera, kasi gusto naming maibili ulit ng mga e-trikes,” she said.

(Our priority is to provide them to drivers who only earn by giving boundaries to the operator, or those who do not own tricycles. They can rent them until they already own them or if they do not want them, they can just pay the boundary because we want to buy more e-trikes.)

Meanwhile, Feliciano said Brooke’s Point aims to shift slowly towards the total use of e-trikes.

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